Radical Innovation Case Study

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DEFYING ORGANIZATIONAL THEORY: INNOVATION FUNCTIN AND THE ROLE OF THE ORCHESTRATOR
THE ROLE OF THE ORCHESTRATOR IN EXECUTING RADICAL INNOVATION or or ….

Gina C. O’Connor, Lois S. Peters, Mario Sergio Salerno, Leonardo Augusto V. Gomes

Brief outline – term of reference

1. INTRODUCTION

Literature on radical innovation (RI) management in large established firms clearly remarks that RI must pursuit organizational schemes, decision rules, procedures, and processes, as well as skills different from those traditionally associated with incremental innovation. Dynamic capabilities for radical innovation are distinct from those required for incremental innovations.

The organization kind for radical innovation is related to independent structures
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2.4 Organizational design of RI, IF

Radical innovation is organized around a small team of people with a task that, at a first glance, one could assign as a coordinating task. This team is being formalized in hubs (O’Connor and Rice, 2001) or, more consistently, in an organizational function, as described in O’Connor and DeMartino (2006), O’Connor et al (2008) and O’Connor (2012). That is, the organization of radical innovation in companies is migrating form process – the traditional NPD process – to function. A function encompasses at least a dedicated team, not an ad hoc team, mandate (even if not always clear), some resources.

The analysis of the innovation function and of its leader – the orchestrator, challenges established aspects of organization theory.

Many paper on innovation deals with subjects that are not directly related to our subject. For example, concerning flexibility in production (Salerno et al, 2009 XXX), standardized incremental innovation in plants (Hull and Hage,
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[The following, in different format, is a cut and paste from a 2009 paper, to make clearer the framework. If we keep with this, it must be adapted for the work at IF, but I don’t think it would be hard to do it. Key ideas for event: a socio-economical phenomenon, not a physical phenomenon; unpredictability; singularity, encompassed in a given situation – it all fit with IF and RI projects!
The same for communication as a coordination mechanism – a more complex concept; the word communication has different meanings; Zarifian adapts Habermas sense for work situations, although, according to the original Habermas’ framework, there would not be communication in the work because every actor has its own or collective interest, and pure Habermasian communication is free of interests. Communication here is mutual intercomprehension among subjects. That has many meanings: people on IF are subjects; there are some conditions (or dimensions) for mutual intercomprehension – see below. These conditions – cognitive, normative and expressive, the later one linked to human resources systems and management. I think this framework is quite powerful to our objectives, and is virtually
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